A blog to complement the Web site of the Public Relations Association of Mississippi-Central Chapter Web site at www.pramcentral.org.

Friday, January 21, 2005

The problem with blogs

Lately, I've been spending a lot of time defining blogs to fellow PR professionals and to staff members within my association. The very mention of the word seems to bring a laugh - which is not good when you are trying to convince your CEO that your company needs one quickly.

I've decided that calling this new platform a "blog" is just too much information. They don't need to know that. Here's my best shot on what they need to know so far:

An innovative Web platform that allows site visitors to join in the conversation through comments and trackbacks.

(Feel free to expand on my definition in the comments.)

My point is that when we want to convince our bosses to buy us the latest Photoshop upgrade, we don't go into the nitty-gritty details of layers and blending options, etc. They would give us a blank stare. And with TypePad and Movable Type, visitors not familiar with blogs will only see it as a Web site. Even free blogs, like Blogger.com, allow tweaking of the templates to add more links, etc. All you need are some basic HTML skills.

But those of you jumping on the blogging bandwagon do need to beware of the baggage that comes with the word. Remember, when we're talking to others, it's not a blog - it's an "innovative Web platform." (They probably won't know what that is either, but at least they won't laugh.)

Shawn Zehnder Lea
Mississippi Hospital Association
slea@mhanet.org

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